Saturday, March 17, 2018

Animation Writer FAQ: Script Formatting

Q: I have a teleplay. I've heard there are different formats for scripts. My format consists of the heading, dialogue, and description being 1.25 spaces from the left edge of the paper. The character names above their dialogue are the only things I indented. My page numbers are at the bottom right
of the paper. Keeping in mind that there are different formats for scripts, is my format correct?

A: There are two main script formats -- sitcoms and screenplays. With the exception of "act breaks" (the annoying advertising part that pays for everything), the hour TV dramas are usually written in standard screenplay format. In this format, the margins are small, the dialogue is indented from the action description, and the character names are centered over the dialogue. Sitcom scripts are similar but the margins are wider and the dialogue is double-spaced.

I would recommend that you find a show that is similar in style to your teleplay (half-hour comedy, etc.) and then set about getting a copy of a script for that show. There are various online resources. In order to be taken seriously, you should make your script look like this script from an existing show -- one that was generated by a professional.

Another thing you might want to consider is purchasing some script writing software. These contain script templates for many kinds of television and film scripts and even things like plays, novels, and radio scripts. I have used both "Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000" and "Final Draft". Final Draft seems to be more popular among professional animation writers, to the point that it’s considered the industry standard, but both are good. These applications can be kind of pricey ($100 - $200+) because of their narrow appeal (professional writers) but I found they seriously increased my productivity and so are worth every penny. 

One more thing; the page numbers go in the upper right hand corner.

If you have a question about writing for animation, send it to me via the CONTACT tab. If you have your own thoughts about this particular question, please leave them in the comments.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Author FAQ: What Software Should I Use to Write My Books?

Q: I was curious what software you use for writing your books.  I want to convert one of my scripts into book format and pursue creating a series of pre-to-early teen books, so I want to make sure what I submit follows industry standards.

A: I use MS Word for all of my book writing (picture books, short stories, chapter books, and novels). I've also used a screenwriting program which has a novel template. The script program worked okay, but I prefer Word because its files are more universally accepted -- the screenplay software pretty much requires the person at the other end to have it too.  Ultimately, you'd have to convert the screenplay program file to Word anyway (to have anyone else read it) and when I had to do that there were tons of formatting problems that I had to go through and fix manually. Maybe other authors who use a screenplay book template can weigh in on their level of success.

With regard to industry formatting standards, there are a skillion how-to books on the shelf that show you proper page and paragraph layout, etc.

You're correct in wanting to get it right as I've read that an improperly formatted book sample can drive a prospective editor or agent bonkers.
If you have a question about writing books, send it to me via the CONTACT tab. If you have your own thoughts about this particular question, I'd love to hear them so please leave them in the comments.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Pix From My Friend to the North

Canadian author pal Scott Bury sent pix of him with his copy of GHOST STAR. As you can see from the inscription, I consider him to be an important member of my "brain trust of beta readers." He really did help make my book more readable. Thanks, Scott!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Talking Heads - Once in a Lifetime (Official Video)

My favorite video of my favorite song by my favorite band. I first saw it back in the early 80s and my mind was blown. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Animation FAQ: Thoughts on How to Sell an Animated Series

Q: I am an aspiring writer/artist/musician with an animated show idea. I have character illustrations, a series synopsis, 12 plot treatments, and music samples that I have worked on extensively. I have a friend who creates and pitches TV shows for a living, but I am not sure about his degree of success in that field. He encouraged me to create the series in the first place. I have no idea how to get my idea in front of people besides my admittedly low-level connection. Do you have any suggestions?

A: Disclaimer: I've come close a couple of times, but have yet to sell a series. 

That sounds like you have a lot of the components one would need to pitch an animated
"Hodag of Horror"
show. The fact that you're a musician who's able to provide show-related music samples might even give you an edge over most.

With regard to your friend, if he creates and pitches shows "for a living" (meaning he gets paid) he is without a doubt VERY successful in his field and not a "low level connection" at all. In fact, he's about as good a connection as you can get. Is he a professional writer? If so, that means he probably has a "literary" agent (an agent that exclusively handles TV, film, or animation writers). Ask him for a referral to his agent. 

I strongly recommend having a couple of writing samples (spec sitcoms, well-known animated shows in the same category as your series, even a spec feature script that shows off your style) in addition to your pitch. Write them, then begin the hunt. If your friend doesn't have an agent, once you get the samples, start the hunt yourself. Pursue any other connections you might have and go to the WGA site for a listing of Guild approved agents. Once you have that, start sending out query letters (try to get a name rather than sending out generic "Dear Agent" letters) explaining that you're interested in representation, have a project (don't go into too much detail), list your samples, and ask if they would be interested in taking a look at one (of the samples). If they say yes, you've got your foot in the door. 

You didn't mention where you lived, but it'd be helpful if it was in LA or NY. That's where most of the agencies and the production co./networks are located. It wouldn't be impossible to secure representation if you lived somewhere else, just a lot harder. An agency would be more likely to sign someone who's "in town" and available for the meetings they'd set up. The bottom line is that you need to secure an agent if you have any hope of having your project looked at by anyone who really counts. Good luck!


If you have a question about writing for animation, send it to me via the CONTACT tab. If you have your own thoughts about this particular question, please leave them in the comments.

Friday, February 9, 2018

REVIEW: Your Name

I rolled my eyes when I first read the description for "Your Name" ("A teenage boy and girl embark on a quest to meet each other for the first time after they magically swap bodies."), but it turned out to be a mature, well-crafted film -- wistful, with gentle humor and lots of heart. The animation is some of the best I've seen...anywhere. Recommended.


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Ghost Star: Limited Time Price Promotion

My pals at Kindle Press have decided now is a good time for special discount pricing on Ghost Star. To quote Annie Lennox, "Who am I to disagree?"

For a limited time (Thursday, 2/8/18 - Thursday, 2/15/18), my book will be on sale for $0.99! That's ninety-nine digital pennies for 50k words of action-packed digital adventure!

If you already own Ghost Star please pass along this little wallet-friendly nugget of news to friends and family who might enjoy saving a couple of bucks on a fun, fast-paced, space opera-y read.
Yes, I'm shamelessly asking you to please spread the word. Tell them it's like Star Wars without those annoying Ewoks or Porgs. They'll thank you for it and so will I.


Thank you!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

PUBLICATION DAY! Undrastormur, Part 2: The Great Tree

The big day has arrived for the second part in my YA Viking fantasy series, Undrastormur, Part 2: The Great Tree!

Here's the description: "When the roots of the Great Tree are attacked by a plague of monster slugs, Eirik and his companions must destroy the ravenous creatures before they release the Nidhoggr, a mountain-sized dragon bent on bringing death and destruction to all of the nine worlds."

Sound exciting? I think so and hope you'll agree.

This novella-length fantasy adventure is now available as a Kindle title on Amazon.

You can check it out HERE.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

GHOST STAR: Publication Day Has Arrived!

Just a quick post... Both editions of Ghost Star are now available on Amazon!

Kindle Edition ($2.99)

Paperback Edition ($11.95)

To everyone who helped me get my book over the finish line -- from my trusty beta readers/proofers and editor to those who nominated Ghost Star during its Kindle Scout campaign -- thank you! This is an amazing day for me and I am grateful!

If you received a free review copy of the book from Kindle Scout as a reward for nominating it, please use the above links to leave a review on Amazon. You can do this if you bought the book on your own, too. The more reviews the better (as far as Big A's marketing algorithms are concerned). In other words, reviews help authors sell books.

If you'd like, you can also leave a review on Goodreads.

If you're a book blogger or librarian and would like a review copy, feel free to CONTACT ME.

Again, thank you!

Monday, December 25, 2017

UNDRASTORMUR, Part 2: The Great Tree NOW AVAILABLE for Pre-Ordering

This announcement is a two-fer: a pre-order availability, er, announcement AND cover reveal.

Undrastormur, Part 2: The Great Tree is a novella length continuation of Eirik's adventures from the first book. Lots of fantasy adventuring going on in this one--monsters, an ego-maniacal Norse god, a fierce shieldmaiden, and, of course, our brave but reluctant hero, Eirik. The book is now available for pre-ordering. The actual date of publication is 01/30/18.

Here's my book's description...
When the roots of the Great Tree are attacked by a plague of monster slugs, Eirik and his companions must destroy the ravenous creatures before they release the Nidhoggr, a mountain-sized dragon bent on bringing death and destruction to all of the nine worlds.
And here's the cover designed by Keith Robinson. Give him a shout if you're an author looking for a cool cover from an easy-to-work-with designer.

Interested? Check out these links:

Amazon Pre-order link:

Amazon Author page:


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

POLL QUESTION: Ghost Star vs Undrastormur

Both the Kindle and paperback versions of Ghost Star are coming out on 01/09/18. The second Undrastormur book (Kindle) is ready to go now. Should I publish the Undrastormur book BEFORE or AFTER Ghost Star's release? 

I guess I'm concerned about the two books possibly getting in each other's way. Am I overthinking it? 

Feedback appreciated.

Friday, December 8, 2017

COVER UPDATE for UNDRASTORMUR: A Viking Fantasy Adventure

My original cover for Undrastormur has needed an update for quite some time. I designed it myself using an inexpensive stock image, an average font, and a basic cover design tool. It wasn't terribly eye-catching and, without the subtitle, could just as easily been a foreign language story about dangerous weather. All of this added up to a cover that looked okay but could've been better. 

After years of muttering to myself about my lack of design skills, I finally decided to do something about it. 

Enter talented cover designer Keith Robinson. He not only redesigned my tired original cover, but is designing brand new covers for Undrastormur, Part 2: The Great Tree (coming very soon), and Undrastormur, Part 3: The Revenge of the Giants (coming in early 2018).

Here's his new cover: 

Big improvement, eh? It features Eirik, the main character, and Hilde, a strong supporting character. Even without the subtitle, we can reasonably assume there's an adventure involved. Closer examination will hopefully lead potential readers to guess it's a sword and sorcery story since Eirik holds a wizard's staff and Hilde sports a serious-looking sword. 

I'm very pleased with this new cover and can't wait to reveal the next two. 

If you're in need of a cover, I heartily recommend contacting Keith by clicking on his highlighted name above. He's smart, intuitive, and easy to work with.

CLICK HERE to reach the Undrastormur Amazon page. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Blog Tour: Druid Warrior Prince by Juli D. Revezzo

Author Juli D. Revezzo has a new book called Druid Warrior Prince. It's full of Celtic mythology, which I groove on, so I think it looks interesting and I'm guessing you will too. She tells us all about her book in this guest post. Check out the post and then check out Druid Warrior Prince!  -- RE


Druid Warrior Prince is the third in my urban/historical fantasy series, Celtic Stewards Chronicles. If you haven’t been introduced to it yet, the series is about a family who owns a patch of land on which the Irish gods of the Tuatha dé Danann, their druids, and a special squad of elite warriors fight an ancient, magical battle against mythic evil for the fate of the world, every 500 years. 

In the first book, Passion’s Sacred Dance, the heroine (Stacy) receives an old diary from the last overseer, who takes the overseer’s title of “Steward”. While Stacy lives in modern-day Florida, the previous steward oversaw the battle in 1513 on the family’s original homestead in Ireland.(The whole story of which is told in book 2, Druid Warrior’s Heart). That information only furthered Stacy’s curiosity about the family, so after her own battle in 2013, she’s gone digging for more information on how her family has dealt with this war, seeking clues to, perhaps, end it, once and for all.

The third volume, lately released, entitled Druid Warrior Prince continues the story, from the point of view of Gwenevieve, the steward who lived 1500 years ago, revealing to Stacy a little-known episode in the family history, taking place is 6th Century Ireland. The progression down through Stacy’s history, to Gwen’s is why I can’t say the series is purely historical fantasy; it is, but it’s not, due to the modern setting of Passion’s Sacred Dance. Why did I decide to that? Because I’m mad? No. :)

If I am, there’s a method to the madness. For me, the combination of myth, fantasy, and history is something that has intrigued me for a long time, especially Celtic mythology. I have been studying up on it ever since I first found the King Arthur tales. A decade or so ago I fell into Irish mythology, and have barely resurfaced since. That’s where the world and war of the Celtic Stewards Chronicles came from. There’s a tale in the myths that says the evil god Balor one day did the unthinkable and refused hospitality to a druid of the Tuatha dé Danann. Well, the withholding of said hospitality was a major slight, in the eyes of the Celts, and so this druid did what you’d expect. He told tales of this king’s snub to his kin, and they decided to go to war with the king over it. (As I said, major slight!) That story, got me thinking, what if the war didn’t just end at the end of the tale we have written down? What if the uppity king kept poking at his enemies, by way of threatening humanity, or otherwise causing trouble so the Tuatha dé Danann would have no choice but to defend people from the king’s potential destructive wrath?

That thought gave rise to a war fought every 500 years under the watchful eye of one family, as ancient Celtic wars were fought with a druid on hand to oversee it all, and from there to my three books (so far) in the Celtic Stewards Chronicles, the third of which, Druid Warrior Prince, just released.

The official synopsis is as follows:

Gwenevieve Macken’s well-ordered world falls into chaos as encroaching interlopers scheme to possess both her and her land. Although she’s been trained to spot the signs of inhuman evil in men, the amassing armies take on guises she never expected.

When a foreign guardian presents himself as her only option for salvation, Gwenevieve must make a choice between her desires, and fulfilling the mythic fate to which she was born. A forced marriage to a Tuatha dé Danann warrior isn't part of her plan.


 Should you like to check it out, it’s available at Amazon, in ebook and paperback.

The entire Celtic Stewards Chronicles can be found here:

I hope you will enjoy them. And before I go, I’d like to say thank you to Roger for allowing me to come here and tell you about the series. 

Juli D. Revezzo loves fantasy and Celtic mythology and writing stories with all kinds of fantastical elements. She is the author of the historical romances, House of Dark Envy, Watchmaker's Heart, and Lady of the Tarot, the Antique Magic paranormal mystery series and Celtic Stewards Chronicles series and more. She is also a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.

To learn more about this and future releases, visit her at:
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